Gay Men News

Bringing the Best in LGBTQ to you

Blake Lee, Ben Lewis Fell In Love (Again) on The Christmas Setup Set

Blake Lee, Ben Lewis Fell In Love (Again) on The Christmas Setup Set image
Entertainment Film LGBTQ Television
Posted by Joseph on December 8, 2020

Ben Lewis and Black Lee in Lifetime's The Christmas Setup
The pair have been married for a decade but while working on the history-making Lifetime holiday film, the stars found themselves revisiting the process of falling for one another. 

This year there is a wave of LGBTQ+ inclusive (or centered) holiday films coming out. Of these projects, many are populated by queer creatives as the leading actors, writers, directors, and/or producers. Take The Christmas Setup, which comprises Lifetime’s first Christmas film that centers on an LGBTQ+ romance as its lead storyline. The film proves that at Lifetime, Christmas is for everyone.

“We, admittedly, had never seen of these movies before,” Ben Lewis, who stars as Hugo, a corporate lawyer, opposite his real-life husband Blake Lee, tells Out of being cast to do the Lifetime project. The film sees Hugo return to his hometown of Milwaukee from New York City to spend the holidays with his mom. While there, as is common with this genre, he finds himself falling back in love with the small town as well as with his old high school crush, played by Lee. The pair were joined by other queer creatives like Pat Mills, the director; Michael J. Murray, the writer; Chad Connell, a Lifetime regular and the straight brother of Hugo in this project; as well as noted ally Fran Drescher, who plays the meddling, matchmaking mother. Lifetime worked closely with GLAAD to ensure the movie represents the LGBTQ+ community sensitively and accurately. 

“I don’t think either of us in our careers have ever been on a set where a majority of the key creatives were queer or allies,” Lewis says. “It was a great sort of inversion of what you normally experience on set.”

Here we talk to both Lee and Lewis about what it was like to make the film, be a part of this historical moment, and work with Drescher. The Christmas Setup will debut on Lifetime on December 12 at  8 p.m. ET. The Christmas Setup is one of 34 new holiday movies on Its A Wonderful Lifetime this season. See the full schedule on mylifetime.com

Play Video

How did you both get involved with this film? Was it always a joint thing?

BLAKE: So it was like August, so we had been in the middle of the pandemic for quite a few months. We had already passed that part of like we’re never going to work this year. But one day we were having breakfast at our house and my phone rang with my agent calling and sort of asking where we were geographically and where we were with wanting to work. And it was sort of like get me out of this house. So he was sort of saying he just got off the phone with Lifetime and they were thinking of offering the two of us the leads to their first LGBTQ+ led movie and it was such a shock

BEN: I could hear parts of the conversation and so I thought he was getting an offer and I was excited but a little bit jealous. So when he got off the phone and said it was an offer for both of us, we were just completely caught off guard.

Had you worked together before?

BEN: We’ve been together for ten years but we’ve never worked together. When you’ve been together for a decade there aren’t a lot of firsts, you know. So this was really exciting. It was exciting and surreal to be working together for the first time, to be celebrating Christmas in September, and to have Fran Drescher playing my mother.

When you’ve been together for so long you have this shorthand together, so was there a process of undoing those things for the film?

BEN: We have such a natural comfortability with each other so we had to walk that back. Luckily our director Pat was very vigilant about that.

BLAKE: Yeah it was about remembering those first moments of falling in love, To see a guy you think is hot and if his shirt comes up a little you are like lazer focused on it. We’re so used to each other at this point so it was really great to be reminded of those things in this process. It was really nice to fall in love again and to be reminded of how important those things are in a relationship and how you always need to find ways to spice things up.

There were moments where Ben’s character would leave the room and Pat would go on this take really check him out like really look at his ass. You haven’t seen this guy since high school.

Were you guys really cognizant of the ongoing conversations about representation with these types of movies?

BEN: We were certainly aware of and a part of conversations about representation in entertainment but I don’t think we were involved in what was happening with this genre specifically. I think if you look at the representation across all of these movies we are seeing this year — the Hulu one, Lifetime one, the Hallmark one, the Paramount one — I think we’re really hopeful that this is going to just open a door to more diverse representation.

BLAKE: We are very aware that we are just one story, we are just one version of the LGBTQ+ community. We know that and if we were to do another one of these with them, we’ve voiced how important it is to be inclusive of the entire community to have trans representation, nonbinary, LGBTQ+ people of color … we are literally just one story. We happen to be one of the first and hopefully, it continues and becomes more diverse. 

Did you guys get to have input on the script?

BLAKE: You know that was something we talked about before we took the roles. We asked if they would be open to our point of view if there was a scene that we could make it more specific, and they said absolutely. It ended up being this really collaborative experience. It was important for us to be really specific about the time. 

You know this at first the town just happened to be this really happy town but Ben and I wanted to be specific about what the town was doing. So there couldn’t just happen to be this drag bar, like there needed to be other things. So like let’s say there’s a queer youth center or whatever other little details that would give a sense of a community.

What was it like working with Fran?

BEN: For me, that was beyond surreal. The beauty of Fran is that whatever is on the page she’s going to take it and make it her own and elevate it. But we actually share a birthday and the date fell right in the middle of shooting. When they told me that they were looking at Fran I just thought “it’s never going to happen because the idea of me celebrating my birthday with Fran Drescher on set” is just too good to be true. So then when they actually got her we were really thrilled.

The thing about Fran is she’s everything you want her to be and more.

Do you two have your own holiday traditions?

BEN: Normally we spend Christmas in Canada with my Thanksgiving — last year they came here to LA. This year will be the first time we don’t spend it together because of the pandemic. But I think this movie will be a nice gift for them.

BLAKE: I’ve never thought about this but when we got married and we went on our honeymoon, we got married in LA and our honeymoon was in Big Sur which is like a five-hour drive up the coast. We didn’t even set out to do this but we stopped at all these amazing antique shops along the way. One of the things that we did was we started to build this collection of vintage Christmas ornaments. They are like these 1950s beautiful ornaments that last year we were able to finally put up on our own tree. 

It’s kind of weird that we started our marriage with something Christmas related.  

Lifetime has new holiday movies, 24/7 through Christmas Day. Watch The Christmas Setup on December 12 at  8 p.m./7 p.m CT on Lifetime.



Check out the original story here: Out Magazine.



Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you! Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

Sign-up now: www.gaydatingsolutions.com

Download our mobile apps: https://appurl.io/jd0jaqp0

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GayDating101

Tweet us: twitter.com/GayDating101

Tags: #BigBankChallenge #BohemianKissChallenge #EqualityActJapan #StopAsianHate 2020 Olympics Aaron Schock Adam Castillejo Adam Rippon addiction ageism Aging AhTave AIDS Aime Wichtendal Alaska Alex Morse Almost Love America's Next Top Model American Medical Association Amy Coney Barrett Annise Parker Antes Que El Mundo Se Acabe Anti-Asian Violence Anti-LGBTQ ANTM anxiety Aptima HIV-1 Arizona Armie Hammer astrology At-home date Atlanta Atlanta Black Pride Atlanta Nightlife Atlanta Pride Atlanta Pride Run Austin Swink Austin Texas Backpacks for the Street Basel Abou Hamrah BFI Flare Bisexual BLACK GAY MEN Black LGBTQ Atlanta Black Lives Matter Black Love Bohemian Rhapsody Boston Boston MA Brian Sims Broadway bully Bullying California Call Me By Your Name Canada Capital Pride Capitalism Cason Crane Celebrity News censorship Chemistry Chemsex Chicago Chicago IL Chris Evans Christian proselytizing Christianity Christmas Christmas movie Christmas Movies Chucky Circus of Books civil unions Cody McCook Colorado Comedy coming out commentary compatibility Confidence Congress conspiracy theory Conversion therapy CoronaVirus COVID COVID-19 Covid-19 vaccine daddy Dallas Dallas Gay Bars Dallas Gayborhood Dallas Texas Danica Roem Daniel Harding Daniel Howell Date night dating Dating Apps dating rut dating tips DC Pride Dead to Me Denver Depression discrimination Disney Documentary Dolf Pasker Dolly Parton Domestic Violence Donald Trump Donna Price Drag Race drag racing Dustin Lance Black election Election 2020 Election Day Elite Employment Entertainment Entertainment news epidemic Fabio Fasoli Family family gatherings Film Finding True Love First Date First Date Etiquette first date ideas first date tips Flirting Tips Flirty Dancing Florida Fort Lauderdale Franklin Graham Freddie Mercury Garrett Clayton gay gay asian gay asian men Gay Atlanta Gay beaches Gay Boston Gay Chicago Gay Couple Gay Couples Gay Culture Gay Dallas Gay Dallas Nightlife gay dating gay dating advice gay dating app gay dating apps Gay Dating Solutions Gay Dating Tips gay discrimination gay film Gay Florida Gay Fort Lauderdale Gay Health Gay Holiday Movie Gay Houston gay kiss Gay Love Advice gay marriage gay marriage proposal gay men Gay Miami gay midlife Gay Mountaineer Gay Movies Gay New York Gay Nurse Gay Panic Gay Pride gay relationship advice gay relationship tips gay relationships Gay Scene gay seniors gay sex gay singles Gay Soldier Gay Travel Gay Twitter Gay Wedding gay weddings Gay Widower Gays Over COVID gaysian Gen Z Generation Z Georgia Gert Kasteel Ghosting GLAAD GOP Gorsuch Guy Vandenberg Gym Gays Haaz Sleiman Hallmark Halloween Hate Crime Health HGVT HIV HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV treatment HIV vaccine HIV/AIDS hobbies Holi-date Holiday Film Holiday Movies Holidays Hollywood Holyoke Homophobia hooking up hookup hookup culture Hot Vax Summer House Hunters Houston Texas Houston TX Hulu Ian Jordan Indya Moore Instagay Instagram intersex Intimacy Iowa Iowa caucus isolation It's A Sin Jake Gyllenhaal James Bushe Japan Jaymes Vaughan Jayson Conner Jeffrey Newman Jennifer Tilly Jewish Jewish persecution Joe Biden Jonathan Bennett Josef Salvat Jussi-Pekka Kajaala Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg JVN Jwan Yosef Karamo Brown Kristine Stolakis Lady Gaga Lesbian lesbian couple Let It Snow LGBT LGBT Travel Guide LGBT-Free Zones LGBTQ LGBTQ Asians LGBTQ Atlanta LGBTQ Boston LGBTQ Chicago LGBTQ Dallas LGBTQ discrimination LGBTQ employees LGBTQ Family LGBTQ Film LGBTQ Film Festival LGBTQ Films LGBTQ flag LGBTQ Fort Lauderdale LGBTQ Health LGBTQ Houston LGBTQ Miami LGBTQ movies LGBTQ New York LGBTQ NYC LGBTQ Pride LGBTQ retirees LGBTQ retirement LGBTQ Rights LGBTQ Seniors LGBTQ Victory Institute LGBTQ Youth Life Lifetime Lifetime TV Network Linda Warren lockdown London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival loneliness Love Victor Luke Evans Male Nurse Malik Brown marriage equality marriage proposal Marsha P Johnson Marvel Marvin Cortes Massachusetts mature gay dating mental health Mexico Miami Miami Beach Miami Beach Pride Miami Florida Michael Cashman Michael Henry Middle-aged gay men midlife Modern Family mormon Mr. Right Muscle gays music video My Gay Match NASCAR National Coming Out Day Nationwide Conversion Therapy Ban Neil Gorsuch Netflix Netflix Special Nevada New Year's Resolution New York New York City Nonbinary North Dakota Northern Ute tribe Nurse Appreciation Week NYC NYC Events NYC Pride NYC Pride 2021 Oak Lawn Obergefell v. Hodges older gay man Omander Omar Ayuso One True Pairing online dating online dating apps online dating tips online gay dating Online trolls Open Relationship Operation Hyacinth OTP Outfest Outfest LA 2021 Outfest Los Angeles Pan-African Pride pandemic Paper Moons Pat Robertson Pennsylvania Perez Hilton personality personality type Pete Buttigieg Pink Capitalism Poland Politics polyamorous polyamorous relationship polyamorous relationships Pope Francis Pose power bottom Pray Away PrEP pride Pride 2021 Pride Afrique Pride Flag Pride Month Prince Harry profile pic Puerto Vallarta quarantine Queer eye Queer Film Queer Films Queer Holiday Movies Queer Lawmakers Queer Love Story Queer Santa Queer Youth racism Rafa Olarra Rainbow Wave Reddit Relationship relationship advice Relationship Tips relationships religion Rep. Andy Biggs Republican retirement Ricky Martin rom-com Romantic Comedy Ryan Murphy Ryan O’Connell Samaritan’s Purse same sex marriage Same Sex Relationships Same Sex Wedding Same-Sex Couples Same-Sex Kiss same-sex marriage ban Schitt’s Creek Score Miami Score Nightclub Scott Evans Scott Wiener Section 28 self isolation self-care Senior Gay Dating Senior Gay Men senior gays Senior Prom Seven Summits sex Sex Education sex life sexual identity sexual preference sexual racism sexuality short film Shy Gay Guys Single All the Way single gay man Single Gay Men Single Gays Single Young Gays social distancing social isolation social media Social Security Somerville sports Stonewall Stonewall Riots straight men Super Bowl ads Super Bowl commercials Super Bowl LIV Supreme Court Switzerland Syfy Syria Tan France Television Tennessee The Boys in the Band The Center on Colfax The Christmas Setup The Eternals The First The Thing About Harry Threesome throuple TikTok Tom Daley toxic masculinity Transgender Travel Travis Shumake Trump administration Turner Free TV series Tweets Twitter Unconditional Love United Methodist Church US economy US Supreme Court Valentine's day viral video Virginia Washington DC Web Series Wedding Workplace workplace discrimination World AIDS Day World Pride young gay men Youth YouTube

Blake Lee, Ben Lewis Fell In Love (Again) on The Christmas Setup Set – Real Gay dating

[…] post Blake Lee, Ben Lewis Fell In Love (Again) on The Christmas Setup Set appeared first on Gay Men […]

Leave a reply

Related articles
image for 7 Reasons to Visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Gay Capital
7 Reasons to Visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Gay Capital

Welcoming more than 1.1 million LGBTQ visitors a year, Greater Fort Lauderdale comes by its inclusiveness natu

image for How Syfy’s “Chucky” Series Ups the Queerness in the Iconic Horror Franchise
How Syfy’s “Chucky” Series Ups the Queerness in the Iconic Horror Franchise

That’s right: There’s a tender gay teen romance at the heart of Chucky, out creator Don Mancini’s TV series spin-off.

image for LGBTQ Pride Events in Atlanta This Weekend
LGBTQ Pride Events in Atlanta This Weekend

Lining up plans in Atlanta? Whether you're a local, new in town, or just passing through, you'll be sure to find something.

image for Dating and Compatibility: Which Personality Type Is Your True Love Match?
Dating and Compatibility: Which Personality Type Is Your True Love Match?

Gay dating can be challenging. Most single gay men turn to gay dating apps to help them find a partner, only to discover they are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle: personality compatibility.

image for Gay Things To Do in Chicago
Gay Things To Do in Chicago

Chicago is one of the most inclusive cities in the country, with a long and vibrant LGBTQ+ history.